The security of quantum key distribution protocols is guaranteed by the laws of quantum mechanics. However, a precise analysis of the security properties requires tools from both classical cryptography and information theory. Here, we employ recent results in non-asymptotic classical information theory to show that one-way information reconciliation imposes fundamental limitations on the amount of secret key that can be extracted in the finite key regime. In particular, we find that an often used approximation for the information leakage during information reconciliation is not generally valid. We propose an improved approximation that takes into account finite key effects and numerically test it against codes for two probability distributions, that we call binary–binary and binary–Gaussian, that typically appear in quantum key distribution protocols.
- Finite length
- Low-density parity-check codes
- Quantum key distribution